A tribute to Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck is both one of the most recognized names on campus and one of Pacific’s most notable alumni. He also happens to be one of the world’s greatest jazz musicians of the 20th century.
Brubeck started his journey at University of the Pacific (which was called College of the Pacific back in 1938 when he entered the school) in the zoology department.
But he soon changed his major to music after his advisor, Dr. Arnold, said, “Brubeck, your mind’s not here. It’s across the lawn in the Conservatory. Please go there. Stop wasting my time and yours.”
Although professors considered him one of the best musicians they had ever seen, Brubeck was almost expelled because he never truly learned how to read sheet music, merely following along to improve. However, several of his teachers came to his defense because of his great musical talent.
While it has been 73 years since Dave Brubeck was a student on this campus, his presence can still be seen today. For one highly visible example, Dave Brubeck Street runs through the middle of the Pacific campus.
But the last and most noticeable contribution is the Brubeck Institute, along with the Brubeck Collection housed there. It is a treasure trove of the great works of art that have been contributed to the world of jazz over the years, quite a bit of which has been thanks to Dave Brubeck.
Besides housing one of the world’s largest collections of music, the Institute has a wonderful fellowship program that helps give five students out of high school a full three-year scholarship in jazz performance. The Institute also hosts the Brubeck Festival, which is now being merged with Pacific’s own Homecoming to become a joint effort.
This weekend, make time to explore the events put on by the Brubeck Institute! Talented artists and groups featured include Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Karrin Allyson, SFJazz Collective, Keith Hatschek, Willard Jenkins and Ashley Kahn.
On Thursday, Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. at the Take 5 Jazz at the Brew, hosted at Valley Brewing Company, the Patrick Langham Quintet will be performing for a mere $5 cover charge ($10 for the general public).
On Friday at 7 p.m., come out with your dancing shoes on for salsa lessons and a concert by the Pacific Mambo Orchestra at the Stockton Civic Auditorium ($25). After that, make your way back to the Take 5 Jazz at the Brew at 10 p.m. for a performance by our very own Pacific Jazz Ensemble. Support your fellow students with the $5 cover charge.
If you’re searching for even more affordable events, then come out Saturday for some completely free concerts. Attend the Jazz and Civil Rights Symposium at 11 a.m. in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall, then head over to the Jazz on the Green Concert, starting at 1 p.m. on Knoles Lawn.
This Homecoming, make sure to come out and support your fellow students. Bear witness to the thriving musical culture that has developed, largely thanks to the support of Dave Brubeck and all he has done for the University of the Pacific.
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